2016 Awaji Island & Osaka. Japan (January 17-22, 2016)

Overview of 2016 Round

The 5th NIF Winter School on Advanced Immunology was held on 17-22 January 2016. In this round, the program comprised a 4-day lecture course and a 2-day international symposium. Forty-nine young researchers from around the world learned cutting-edge immunology from 16 world-renowned senior researchers and forged friendship with peers through active discussions and communications. 
Organizers of the School cordially appreciate the financial support of Osaka University, Tsutomu Nakauchi Foundation, Hyogo International Association, the Naito Foundation, and the Research Foundation of Microbial Diseases of Osaka University.

Date and Venue

17-20 January, 2016
Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center, Awaji Island, Japan 

Official Website

Birds-eye view of Awaji YumebutaiThe Awaji Yumebutai International Conference CenterConference BuildingTea Ceremony House

21-22 January, 2016
Knowledge Theater, Grand Front Osaka, Osaka, Japan


Application and Selection

Participants were selected by the 2016 Winter School Selection Committee through a competitive screening and selection process based on submitted application materials: Curriculum vitae, a personal statement describing the motivation for attending the program, an abstract of the applicant’s presentation, and a recommendation letter.

  • 53 participants of 25 nationalities were selected from 191 applicants of 49 nationalities. Because four participants were unable to attend, 49 participants actually attended.
  • 24 participants were female (49 %) and 25 participants were male (51%).
  • 30 participants were PhD students (61%) and 19 were early postdocs (39%).
  • Average age of participants was 29.3±3.1 years.
  • Participants were originally from Europe (19), Asia (19), Oceania (3), Northern America (5), South America (1), and the Middle-East (1).

2016 Program

The scientific program comprised participants' short presentations, poster sessions, and 16 guest lectures. Each participant presented a poster during a poster session and gave a short oral presentation as well. In addition to the scientific program, welcome and farewell parties, Japanese style dinner, and late discussion sessions in a friendly atmosphere after dinners were organized. In addition to the above course on Awaji Island, participants heard lectures from 13 up-and-coming researchers at the 7th IFReC International Symposium “Immunology at the Forefront” in Osaka.

Lecturers (16-20 January, 2016)

David Artis (Weill Cornell Medical College Cornell University, USA)
Cevayir Coban
(IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
Frederic Geissmann
(Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA)
Florent Ginhoux
(SIgN, Singapore)
Marc K. Jenkins
(University of Minnesota Medical School, USA)
Lewis L. Lanier
(University of California San Francisco, USA)
Eicke Latz
(University of Bonn, Germany)
Dan R. Littman
(New York University School of Medicine, USA)
Shigekazu Nagata
(IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
Lisa Ng
(SIgN, Singapore)
Hiroshi Ohno
(RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Japan)
Erika L. Pearce
(Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Germany)
Caetano Reis e Sousa
(The Francis Crick Institute, UK)
Alexander Rudensky
(Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA)
Olaf Roetzschke
(SIgN, Singapore)
Tamotsu Yoshimori
(Osaka University School of Medicine, Japan)

Speakers in IFReC International Symposium (21-22 January, 2016)

Yoshihiro Baba (IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
Yenan Bryceson (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden)
Keishi Fujio (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
Rikinari Hanayama (Kanazawa University, Japan)
Koji Hase (Keio University, Japan)
Chyi-Song Hsieh (Washington University, USA)
Naoto Kawakami (University of Munich, Germany)
Tri Giang Phan (Garvan Institute, Australia)
Christoph Scheiermann (Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Germany)
Kazuhiro Suzuki (IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
Leonie Taams (King's College London, UK)
Masahiro Yamamoto (IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
Masakatsu Yamashita (Ehime University, Japan)

Presentation Award Laureates

Awards were given to the following participants for their excellent presentations.

Casandra Panea (Columbia University, USA)
Huy-Fern Koay (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Bharat Vaidyanathan (Weill Cornell Graduate School Cornell University, USA)
Timm Weber Max-Delbrueck Center (MDC) Berlin, Germany)

Organizing Committee

Tomohiro Kurosaki (Director, IFReC, Osaka Univ.)
Laurent Renia (SIgN)
Tsuneyasu Kaisho (IFReC, Osaka Univ. & Wakayama Medical University)
Hisashi Arase (IFReC, Osaka Univ.)
Naganari Ohkura (IFRec, Osaka Univ.)
Kazuhiko Maeda (IFReC, Osaka Univ.)
Wataru Ise (IFReC, Osaka Univ.)
Florent Ginhoux (SIgN)
Siew Cheng Wong (SIgN)
Katja Fink (SIgN)
Nicholas Gascoigne (National University of Singapore)
Klaus Karjalainen (Nanyang Technological University)

Photo Album

Messages from the Participants

dummy I would strangly recommend this Winter School to every young scientist who wants to become pioneers in their field as they can get the chance to meet and interact with the world-class immunologists from around the world. It was such a stimulating experience for me.

dummy For the future participant I have these words—"The series of lectures by eminent scientists might enlighten your knowledge but the Japanese hospitality must enlighten your soul. Therefore, please join the Winter School for being nurtured".

dummy I've never seen event so well-organized and friendly like that!

dummy The Winter School is an excellent opportunity to create long lasting networks of scientific peers and to engage in productive conversations about the science that matters to you with leaders in the field. I enjoyed every moment of it and I wish more meetings/conferences were set up in this style.

dummy Would highly recommend this winter school to everyone – you will learn a lot in a great atmosphere!

dummy The winter school is one of the best experiences I've ever had as a young scientist. The quality of the lecturers and participants is excellent and the hosts provide a unique environment in which to make amazing contacts and friends.

dummy Taking part in the 5th NIF Winter school has been a great experience and a wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues from all over the world. As well as having an excellent platform to discuss some of your research with internationally renowned scientist. I am really happy to have attended this winterschool and I highly recommend it. Also a very big thanks to the organizers.

dummy The Winter School was an amazing experience that I would recommend every PhD student to go to. The school brought together 50 people that were all very impressive in their scientific level and presentation level, and were very interesting to talk to. For me it was also the first time that I was able to meet so many people that are also around the same stage as me in their scientific career, and from different places in the world, and to learn from them on their experiences in their institutes and labs. It was also arranged in a way that allowed many chances of engaging in scientific discussions among participants and also with the invited lecturers, as well as social interactions in the parties and dinners which was really fun. It was a great decision to come to the Winter school, I had a great time and would definitely recommend everyone I know to apply for this next year.

dummy I would absolutely recommend participation in the Winter School, it was great experience that will undoubtedly benefit my research carrier.

dummy I was really impressed with the calibre of participants and the breadth of the program and discovered new facets of immunology that I am not regularly exposed to. We had fantastic opportunities to meet many leading immunologists, who spent time discussing their science and careers with us in a really informal setting. The winter school was impeccably organized, which meant that interactions were easy, pleasant, and the informal environment (especially in the evening discussion sessions) meant we got to know peers and faculty on a personal level, enriching our experience greatly. I would like to warmly thank the organisers for the selection of the program, for the choice of hotel and the fantastic food, and for an overall unique and incredible opportunity to meet young enthusiastic scientists in a beautiful country.

dummy NIF Winter School is a great opportunity to be exposed to various fields of Immunology and interact with world's leading researchers and students from all over the world. I had a wonderful time and would highly recommend people to attend.

dummy Made some new friends, learned a bit more about science and reminded me of why I love being inspired by my fellow scientists. It was an excellent experience.

dummyI have no other comments or recommendations.
Thank you for giving me this great opportunity.

dummy The Winter School provided me with the opportunity to not only present to and learn from a truly diverse group of promising researchers, but to also exchange ideas with prominent researchers and learn how they address questions and push their research forward.

dummy I would recommend the winter school to any late PhD student or early postdocs, to broaden your knowledge out of your own niche, put your own work out there and to get to know your international peers. The dynamics are superior to a general conference.

dummy The Winter School was very informative and it made me even more excited about a immunology and science in general! So happy that I was invited to join this great event!

dummy Do not think twice about it!

dummy The winter school in immunology was an excellent opportunity for me as a grad student to present my thesis work and get critical feedback and comments. Besides, it was great to meet aspiring immunologists both students and postdoc who were very collegial and friendly. The scientific content in oral talks was excellent. The lectures by the faculty was very engaging and inspiring. It was a good forum for networking. The Japanese people and culture was extremely warm and comforting. I would highly recommend this school on advanced immunology to all aspiring scientists.

dummyI would recommend everyone who can to apply and attend the course. It's been a fantastic
experience where I've made many new friends all over the world and created some great
memories for life!

dummy The NIF Winter School on Advanced Immunology was very well organized and an amazing experience. It allowed me to present my work on an international platform and has been invaluable for my personal growth as a researcher. The opportunity to attend lectures, many of them given by leaders who drive advances in the field, allowed me to learn about new models, cutting-edge techniques and the latest discoveries being made across the immunology discipline. It was also a fantastic opportunity to meet, network and form scientific collaborations with many young scientists from around the world. The Japanese style discussions were a highlight of the Winter School as they fostered two-way communication between students and faculty on diverse topics and served as an ideal platform to discuss the future of immunology research. I highly recommend the NIF Winter School to all PhD students and early career postdocs.

dummy This is a great opportunity to meet fellow (young) scientists from all over the world and start collaborations.

dummy You never want to miss this opportunity to present your work in front of excellent peers and have great discussions with top immunologists.

dummy The experience was amazing, meeting peer and other world-renowned scientists. Everything is so well organized, the schedule was so busy but I was definitely enjoy every moment of it. I would also like to thank to all the staff helping this winter school. I couldn't ask more.

dummy Big thank you for the generous invitation and top treatment! Perhaps it may be possible to make the school less intensive and to include more variety in the type of activities that may encourage interactions among participants and lecturers. Another thing is, although scientific output (reflected in publications) is one of the key elements of success, I believe succeeding in science requires a variety of skills. Not sure this is considered in the selection criteria but it may be worthwhile to consider participants that perhaps do not have the most impressive track-record as yet but are passionate about contributing to science, to their communities and about making a difference with their work.

dummy The Winter School was extremely well-organized. The quality of research work presented there was very high. Despite the intense days of presentations and lectures, the jovial atmosphere created made the whole learning experience even more enriching.

dummy I had a great time in 5th NIF Winter School in Awaji Yumebutai. All participants are really talented and highly advanced in Immunology. I really enjoyed discussing with them about cutting-edge research topics. I could learn a lot of interesting the latest knowledge, new techniques, and novel methods during winter school. I'm proud that I could join this meeting and want to keep in contact with the participants. It is nice oppotunity to build relationships with young researchers and talk to great Immunologists all over the world.

dummy This is as good as it gets. You will experience cuttingedge research in immunology by leading investigators and meet highly driven, mindlike students and postdocs from all over the world, all set against the incredible backdrop of Awaji Island and Osaka, Japan.

dummy I can wholeheartedly recommend the Winter School not only to extend your knowledge about immunology, but also to get to know the Japanese culture, to extend your social contacts and of course to have a lot of fun!

dummy Participating the Winter School was one of the best opportunities I have ever been given. I learned so much and got inspired by both lecturers and participants and I wish I could do this every year. Senior graduate students and early postdocs should not hesitate to apply for this event.

dummy A joining to winter school was valuable experience for me. I was surprised at the high level of oversea students. I realized strongly the necessity of communication skill with English to become a scientist.

dummy NIF Winter School was great opportunity for me to discuss and communicate with young researchers all over the world. This school will give you an special experience for your career.


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